It may have taken over 3 years to complete, but the restoration of an original 1888 Mansfield Shire surveyor’s map has been well worth the wait.
In April 2016 local resident, Mrs Pat Arbuthnot, donated the historic map to Council, and as a result Council undertook to have this important piece of local history professionally restored to its former glory.
Council engaged the services of the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, who spent a considerable amount of time and effort assessing the map and determining the best way of restoring it. The resulting process included extensive stabilisation works to the fragile cloth map as well as repairs to a number of significant tears and image loss. Once completed, the map was then mounted and housed in an exhibition quality frame.
“Historical maps are a great resource to help learn about a place at a particular point in time”, said Mansfield Shire Mayor, Cr Marg Attley. “They can be used to locate exactly where someone's ancestors lived and to learn quite a bit about the district.
“We are extremely grateful to Mrs Arbuthnot for gifting such a treasure to the Shire, and we encourage everyone to view the map which is now displayed in the Council Chamber foyer”, she said.
“The highly skilled conservation staff at the Grimwade Centre have done an excellent job with the preservation works, and we’re extremely happy with the end result”, said Cr Attley.
When Mrs Arbuthnot presented the map to Council she said that she believed the map should be back in the Shire where it belongs as it commemorates the early pioneers of the Shire. The original surveyor’s map, purchased by Mrs Arbuthnot’s mother in the 1950s from a Shire ‘clearing sale’, shows vastly different boundaries of the very first Mansfield Shire from what they are today.
The map is permanently on display in the entrance foyer of the Council Chamber, and members of the public are most welcome to view the map during business hours.
Image: Staff members from the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation are delighted with the results achieved following stabilisation and restoration works on the map.